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    Valero Tackles Underage Drinking

    Partnership with Texas commission raises dangers of consumption by minors.

    SAN ANTONIO -- In 2001, Texas had the highest alcohol-related traffic fatalities among youths aged 15 to 20, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Valero Energy Corp. is chipping in to reduce those numbers.

    As many high-school students return to school and begin driving to different social activities with friends, Valero, which operates a 3,200-store network of Diamond Shamrock Corner Stores, Stop N Go and Total convenience stores, is teaming up with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) on a public-service campaign to curb underage drinking.

    The campaign against underage drinking features more than 1,000 pump-topper signs, which are located at 485 Diamond Shamrock Corner Store, Stop N Go and Total retail outlets across the state. The pump toppers feature the message: "Underage drinking. You can't afford the buzz. Underage drinking is no minor offense. Call 1-888-THE-TABC to report underage drinking."

    "Valero has a longstanding commitment to community service and especially to our youth. We are glad to partner with the TABC to ensure the safety of these young Texans," said Gary Arthur, Valero's senior vice president of marketing.

    "Underage drinking is truly a statewide issue of concern and the object of this campaign is to remind young Texans of the dangers associated with underage drinking," said TABC Chief of Enforcement Greg Hamilton. "Fines, attendance at an alcohol awareness course, community service and possible denial/suspension of a driver's license is a high price to pay for violating the law."

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